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PFW's pre- preseason roster projection

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With the first part of training camp in the books and the preseason set to open on Thursday, it seems like a good time to take a look at the roster and assess what we’ve seen thus far. Obviously there’s a lot of football to be played and evaluations to be made, but here’s PFW’s pre- preseason projection of the Patriots 53-man roster.

Quarterback (2)

Tom Brady, Brian Hoyer

In the mix: Danny Etling

Analysis: Etling doesn’t look ready to push Hoyer for the backup job and could land on the practice squad.

Running back (4)

Rex Burkhead, James White, Sony Michel, Jeremy Hill

In the mix: Mike Gillislee, Brandon Bolden

Analysis: Michel’s knee injury and Julian Edelman’s suspension could force Bill Belichick to keep additional RBs.

Fullback (1) James Develin

In the mix: None

Analysis: Pro Bowler is still a valuable part of the offense.

Wide receiver (5) Julian Edelman*, Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, Kenny Britt, Eric Decker

In the mix: Riley McCarron, Braxton Berrios

Analysis: Assuming Decker can get up to speed he should be safe, especially for September when Edelman will be out.

Tight end (3) Rob Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen, Jacob Hollister

In the mix: None

Analysis: Rookie Ryan Izzo is a practice squad candidate.

Offensive line (8) Trent Brown, Joe Thuney, David Andrews, Shaq Mason, Marcus Cannon, Isaiah Wynn, LaAdrian Waddle, Ted Karras

In the mix: Cole Croston, Ulrick John

Analysis: Depth has improved among backup candidates.

Defensive line (9) Trey Flowers, Lawrence Guy, Danny Shelton, Adrian Clayborn, Deatrich Wise, Malcom Brown, Derek Rivers, Adam Butler, Vincent Valentine

In the mix: Keionta Davis, Eric Lee, Geneo Grissom

Analysis: Davis could push Valentine for a spot while Grissom always seems to be on the bubble.

Linebackers (5) Dont’a Hightower, Kyle Van Noy, Elandon Roberts, Christian Sam, Marquis Flowers

In the mix: Ja’Whaun Bentley, Harvey Langi

Analysis: Special teams focus will factor into these decisions.

Cornerback (6) Stephon Gilmore, Eric Rowe, Duke Dawson, Jason McCourty, J.C. Jackson, Keion Crossen, Jonathan Jones (PUP), Cyrus Jones (PUP)

In the mix: Ryan Lewis

Analysis: Young corners pushing for roster spots.

Safety (4) Devin McCourty, Patrick Chung, Duron Harmon, Damarius Travis

In the mix: Eddie Pleasant, Jordan Richards

Analysis: Pleasant’s special teams ability could give him a role.

Kicker (1) Stephen Gostkowski

Analysis: Solid as ever during camp.

Punter (1) Ryan Allen

In the mix: Corey Bojorquez

Analysis: Rookie has a big leg but lacks consistency.

Long snapper (1) Joe Cardona

Analysis: Running unopposed.

Special teams (3) Matthew Slater, Brandon King, Nicholas Grigsby, Nate Ebner (PUP)

Analysis: Bolden will be a factor here as well.

*-Suspended for first four games of regular season

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